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a genus of gram-positive bacteria made up of spherical microorganisms, tending to occur in grapelike clusters; they are constantly present on the skin and in the upper respiratory tract and are the most common cause of localized suppurating infections. Pathogenic species include S. au´reus, S. epider´midis, and S. saprophy´ticus.S. aureus is also a cause of food poisoning.


any organism of the genus Staphylococcus. adj., adj staphylococ´cal, staphylococ´cic.


(staf'i-lō-kok'ŭs), Avoid the misspelling/mispronunciation Staphlococcus.
A genus of nonmotile, nonspore-forming, aerobic to facultatively anaerobic bacteria (family Micrococcaceae) containing gram-positive, spheric cells, 0.5-1.5 mcm in diameter, which divide in more than one plane to form irregular clusters. These organisms are chemoorganotrophic, and their metabolism is respiratory and fermentative. Under anaerobic conditions, lactic acid is produced from glucose; under aerobic conditions, acetic acid and small amounts of CO2 are produced. Coagulase-positive strains produce a variety of toxins and are therefore potentially pathogenic and may cause food poisoning. These organisms are usually susceptible to antibiotics such as the β-lactam and macrolide antibiotics, tetracyclines, novobiocin, and chloramphenicol but are resistant to polymyxin and polyenes. They are susceptible to antibacterials such as phenols and their derivatives, surface-active compounds, salicylanilides, carbanilides, and halogens (chlorine and iodine) and their derivatives, such as chloramines and iodophors. They are found on the skin, in skin glands, on the nasal and other mucous membranes of warm-blooded animals, and in various food products. The type species is Staphylococcus aureus.
[staphylo- + G. kokkos, a berry]


, pl.


(staf'i-lō-kok'ŭs, kok'sī),
A vernacular term used to refer to any member of the genus Staphylococcus.


/Staph·y·lo·coc·cus/ (-kok´us) a genus of gram-positive bacteria that are potential pathogens, causing local lesions and serious opportunistic infections; it includes S. au´reus, which causes serious suppurative infections and systemic disease and whose toxins cause food poisoning and toxic shock, S. epider´midis, which is commonly found on normal skin and includes many pathogenic strains, and S. saprophy´ticus, a usually nonpathogenic form that sometimes causes urinary tract infections.


/staph·y·lo·coc·cus/ (-kok´us) pl. staphylococ´ci   any organism of the genus Staphylococcus. staphylococ´calstaphylococ´cic


n. pl. staphylo·cocci (-kŏk′sī, -kŏk′ī)
Any of various spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus that usually occur in grapelike clusters and commonly cause skin infections such as cellulitis and impetigo and other infectious conditions and diseases.

staph′y·lo·coc′cal (-kŏk′əl), staph′y·lo·coc′cic (-kŏk′sĭk, -kŏk′ĭk) adj.


[staf′ilōkok′əs] pl. staphylococci
Etymology: Gk, staphyle + kokkos, berry
a genus of nonmotile spheric gram-positive bacteria. Some species are normally found on the skin and in the throat. Certain species cause severe purulent infections or produce an enterotoxin, which may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Life-threatening staphylococcal infections may arise within hospitals. Staphylococcus aureus is a species frequently responsible for abscesses, endocarditis, impetigo, osteomyelitis, pneumonia, and septicemia. S. epidermidis, formerly called S. albus, occasionally causes endocarditis in the presence of intracardiac prostheses. See also staphylococcal infection. staphylococcal, adj.


A genus of nonmotile, non-spore-forming, aerobic to facultatively anaerobic bacteria containing gram-positive, spheric cells that divide in more than one plane to form irregular clusters. Coagulase-positive strains produce a variety of toxins and therefore are potentially pathogenic and may cause food poisoning. They are found on the skin, in skin glands, on the nasal and other mucous membranes of warm-blooded animals, and in various food products. The type species is S. aureus.
[staphylo- + G. kokkos, a berry]


, pl. staphylococci (staf'i-lō-kok'ŭs, -sī)
A vernacular term used to refer to any member of the genus Staphylococcus.


(staf?i-lo-kok'us) [Gr. staphyle, a bunch of grapes + coccus]
A genus of micrococci belonging to the family Staphylococcaceae, order Bacillales. They are gram-positive and when cultured on agar produce white, yellow, or orange colonies. Some species are pathogenic, causing suppurative conditions and elaborating exotoxins destructive to tissues. Some produce enterotoxins and are the cause of a common type of food poisoning.

Staphylococcus aureus

A species that is coagulase positive, often part of resident flora of the skin and the nasal and oral cavities. These bacteria may cause suppurative conditions such as boils, carbuncles, and abscesses, as well as hospital-acquired infections, foreign body (prosthetic) infections, and life-threatening pneumonia or sepsis. Various strains of this species produce toxins, including those that cause food poisoning, staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, and toxic shock syndrome. Some strains also produce hemolysins and staphylokinase.

methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Abbreviation: MRSA
A strain of S. aureus resistant to methicillin. MRSA is resistant to all penicillins. Patients with MRSA infections should be isolated; appropriate mask-gown-glove precautions must be used, depending on the site of the infection. MRSA is an important cause of health care associated infections. Handwashing is essential in caring for patients who harbor this organism. See: isolation; resistance, antibiotic

MRSA is resistant to most antibiotics and is usually acquired in hospitals or nursing homes, spread from patient to patient by contaminated hands, clothing, and equipment. Infection with MRSA can range from pneumonia to flesh-eating diseases. About 0.5% of people in the U.S. have MRSA bacteria on their skin or in their noses and, although not infected, can still spread the bacteria to those at risk. The CDC estimates that 90,000 people die annually in the U.S. from hospital-acquired infections; about 17,000 of these deaths are due to MRSA. Agencies can now reduce and perhaps stop the spread of MRSA infection by following the guidelines of a pilot program of the Pittsburgh, PA, Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

Patient care

The Pittsburgh guidelines require that all patients have their noses swabbed for MRSA on admission and discharge. Those with MRSA are isolated from other patients and are cared for in protective isolation. Noninvasive equipment is disinfected after each use with these patients, and strict hand hygiene policies are applied. As a result, there was a drop of more than 70% of MRSA cases in surgical care units. The VA, because of the Pittsburgh results, plans to expand the program to more than 150+ VA hospitals nationwide. The CDC suggests screening high-risk patients (those with weak immune systems, intensive care patients, and patients in nursing homes), rather than recommending universal screening. However, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands have essentially eradicated MRSA by using universal screening methods. In addition to screening everyone, agencies may provide MRSA carriers with special soap and antibiotic nasal creams. Additionally, a gene-based MRSA test provides results in hours as opposed to days.

vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Abbreviation: VRSA
A strain of S. aureus resistant to vancomycin that may become a serious nosocomial pathogen. Strains with intermediate resistance to vancomycin have caused life-threatening infections.

Staphylococcus capitis

A coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species that has been isolated from infections in premature neonates and patients with endocarditis.

Staphylococcus caprae

A coagulase-negative, DNAse-positive Staphylococcus species first identified in goats. It can infect humans, e.g., in prosthetic joints and injured bones.

Staphylococcus epidermidis

A coagulase-negative species that is part of the normal flora of the skin. It may colonize, form biofilms on, and infect prosthetic devices and indwelling catheters.

Staphylococcus haemolyticus

A coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species that primarily infects premature neonates and patients being treated for cancer or other immune-suppressing conditions. The species can also cause meningitis; infections of the skin, soft tissue, or prosthetic joints; or bacteremia. It is frequently resistant to multiple common antibiotics.

Staphylococcus hominis

A coagulase-negative species frequently recovered from skin. It is not consistently pathogenic for humans.

Staphylococcus lugdunensis

An aggressive coagulase-negative Staphyloccus species. It causes infections of soft tissues, the bloodstream, and prostheses.

Staphylococcus saprophyticus

A species that is the second most common cause of urinary tract infection in young, sexually active females. It is a rare cause of pneumonia.

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(staf?i-lo-kok'us) (-kok'si?) plural.staphylococci [Gr. staphyle, a bunch of grapes + coccus]
Any bacterium of the genus Staphylococcus. staphylococcalstaphylococcic (-kok'al) (-kok'sik), adjective
See: Staphylococcus; illustration


One of a wide range of GRAM POSITIVE, spherical bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus , that congregate in grape-like clusters and cause boils, septicaemia and other infections. See also STAPHYLOCOCCAL INFECTIONS.


(pl. staphylococci. Greek staphyle, grape) 1 a grape-like cluster of bacterial cells formed when cocci divide randomly (see COCCUS).
  1. a genus of Gram-positive cocci (see GRAM'S STAIN), for example Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause food poisoning and various skin infections.


Any of several species of spherical bacteria that occur in groups of four or irregular clusters. Staphylococci frequently cause skin infections.


, pl. staphylococci (staf'i-lō-kok'ŭs, -kok'sī)
A genus of nonmotile, non-spore-forming, aerobic to facultatively anaerobic bacteria that are found on the skin, in skin glands, on the nasal and other mucous membranes of warm-blooded animals, and in various food products. The type species is S. aureus.
[staphylo- + G. kokkos, a berry]


a genus of spherical, gram-positive bacteria tending to occur in grapelike clusters; they are normal flora on the skin and in the upper respiratory tract and are the most common cause of localized suppurating infections. Pathogenic species are characterized by positive reactions to the coagulase test.

Staphylococcus aureus
a common and important cause of disease in animals including bovine mastitis, tick pyemia (enzootic staphylococcosis), abscesses, dermatitis, furunculosis, meningitis, osteomyelitis, food poisoning, wound suppuration, and bumblefoot in poultry. S. aureus subsp. anaerobius causes lesions similar to caseous lymphadenitis in sheep.
Staphylococcus epidermidis
a common skin and mucosal inhabitant in humans and occasionally in animals living in association with humans.
Staphylococcus hyicus (Staphylococcus hyos)
causes exudative epidermitis and occasionally septic arthritis in pigs.
Staphylococcus intermedius
the major isolate from pyoderma and occasionally other pyogenic infections in dogs and cats and a rare cause of infection in other species.
Staphylococcus xylosus
a rare cause of mastitis in cattle.


pl. staphylococci [Gr.] any organism of the genus Staphylococcus.

coagulase-positive staphylococcus
see coagulase test.

Patient discussion about Staphylococcus

Q. can staphylococcus in woman cause infertility? staphylococcus/infertility

A. Not that I know about. One of the major routes in which bacteria cause infertility in women is through inflammation of the pelvis (PID), but staphylococcus isn't a major cause of this disease.

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Q. what is staph hominis subspec hominis? my grandmother has it and she also has breast ca diabetes is it contagi contagious and what causes it

A. 2. Staphylococcus hominis is a bacterium. That lives harmlessly on humans (like many other bacteria) and trouble begins when someone get immuno compromised. your grandmother probably having harsh chemotherapy and radiations. Her immune system is week and cannot defend the body from infections. Unluckily the Staph hominis somehow penetrated and caused an infection.

Q. What is MRSA? I’ve heard on the news that some hospitals have a higher rate of MRSA infection. What is MRSA?

MRSA - Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is a nick name for a specific subtype of bacteria from the Staph bacteria family, which is found resistant to many of the common antibiotics that are in use today. This is due to a mutation development in the Staph bacteria, which allowed it to grow resistance against the killing ingredient in common antibiotics, therefore making it a harder infection to treat and cure. Hospitals keep track of their MRSA infections for epidemiological reasons, in order to get a perspective on bacterial resistance to antibiotics, hoping new and more effective antibiotic medication will be researched.

More discussions about Staphylococcus
References in periodicals archive ?
Among these opportunistic pathogens are the enterococci, the coagulase-negative staphylococci, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanii, Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli (Cabrera et al.
La meticilina es un antibiotico betalactamico semisintetico que se introdujo en 1959 para tratar las infecciones producidas por Staphylococcus resistente a otro tipo de betalactamicos, principalmente la penicilina, que fue el primer antibiotico utilizado en medicina humana.
The home environment exposes the Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from indoor bio-aerosols [3].
Staphylococcus aureus is most significant bacterial species of Staphylococcus responsible for most of the Gram positive infections.
Distribution and persistence of staphylococcus and micrococcus species and other aerobic bacteria on human skin.
Studies about epidemiology, ecology, pathogenesis and strain variations of important Staphylococcus species significant udder pathogens in many countries and herds are limited.
Sivadon and colleagues examined Staphylococcus species isolated from septic orthopaedic surgeries and found that S.
The commonly isolated bacteria in the culture of pus in cases of chronic otitis media include Pseudomona aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus, Klebsiella.
Staphylococcus aureus importante patogeno nosocomial y comunitario, es agente causal de infecciones sistemicas y localizadas entre otras bacteriemias asociadas con el cateter venoso central, neumonia por ventilacion mecanica, endocarditis, osteomielitis, tracto respiratorio inferior, piel, tejidos blandos, sindrome de choque toxico, sindrome de la piel escaldada y enfermedades transmitidas por alimentos (1).

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